Apple's upcoming iOS 7 can be navigated using head motion

By on June 27, 2013, 5:30 PM
apple, iphone, ipad, ios, samsung galaxy, ios 7, accessibility, smartpause

Apple has made great strides in ensuring that their iOS software is accessible to everyone. For example, those who are visually impaired can use Speak Selection to read out text messages and emails that would otherwise go unseen. An option to flash the iPhone’s built-in LED available since iOS 5 can be used to alert deaf users that they have an incoming call or notification. Although similar features can be found on other handsets and operating systems, Apple’s latest innovation in this field is something entirely unique.

According to 9to5Mac, an anonymous tipster informed them that the forthcoming iOS 7 operating system could be navigated using head movements. The editorial team then tested the most recent version of the beta software and found the claims to be true.

The list of functions that you can complete with just a tilt of the head is rather impressive. You can bring up the home screen, adjust the volume, enable Siri, access the App Switcher, and do everyday actions such as ‘tapping’ to open up an app or link. While all of this sounds great, the feature is admittedly time consuming and not ideal for those that don’t necessarily require it. 

To make this possible, the iPhone makes use of the front-facing camera that is often used for Face Time. The program loops through all available options or applications, and the user must jerk their head to either the left or right to make a selection.

It’s important to note that since this is just an early build of iOS 7, the hands-free feature will probably be polished up a bit, hopefully improving the experience. There is also no guarantee that the motion controls will even make it to the final version.

Regardless of the outcome, it’s nice to see that Apple is going to great lengths to make its products usable by everyone. It will also be interesting to see how other manufacturers measure up in the motion-sensing spectrum. After all, the Samsung Galaxy S4 launched earlier this year with a cool feature called SmartPause, a program that automatically stops a video when the user looks away from the screen. As a result, Samsung certainly has the expertise and know-how to bring forth their own head motion controls.

For those interested, here is a quick video demonstrating the feature.

User Comments: 13

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Guest said:

Who's the ***** that approved the icons to have the same flat look at Windows and Android?

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

One will look very peculiar when twitching their head left and right at the airport or at Starbucks Oh and the head injuries I foresee with this *rolls eyes*

(I know, it is aimed at different market)

Guest said:

Hahaha head motion control... never thought I'd see the day...

VrsTech VrsTech said:

Wow Head Motion.... I'm pretty sure someone out there is going to make some type of game for head, why don't they just say neck movement or something.. haha head motion might benefit women.. LOL I can see bunch of people looking like retarts at Starbucks..

gbird gbird said:

Boo Hoo, next big thing from SAMSUNG on the Galaxy S5 will be MIND CONTROL**


The government will confiscate it before it's released and no one will ever hear about it again

sudheersayz sudheersayz said:

Icons are annoying.

Emexrulsier said:

Which way do I move my head so the phone flies off into the trash/bin ?

Nobina Nobina said:

Wow! Useless.

1 person liked this | Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

I can navigate iOS 7 just by moving my head??? Now why would I do that when I can avoid Apple & iOS 7 just by using my head?

JC713 JC713 said:

Who's the ***** that approved the icons to have the same flat look at Windows and Android?

It is the trend.

Railman said:

Control by head movement is only likely to be used by a very small group of people but I suspect those persons will be grateful for the opportunities given. I am not an Apple fan but credit where due I back them on this project.

avoidz avoidz said:

I guess phone morons already walk along seemingly talking to themselves with Bluetooth. So why not add bizarre head twitching to the whole experience.

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